The hippo is a semiaquatic mammal commonly found in Africa. There are two species of hippopotamus, namely the common and the pygmy hippo. The former is concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, while the latter is native to West Africa.
Despite having aggressive tendencies, hippos do not eat meat. They mostly feed on grass, leaves, fruit, and aquatic plants.
Hippos are known for living in water and mud. Water is a safe place for hippos as they mate and give birth in water. Even though most people think hippos are aggressive, they only show territorial behavior when submerged. However, if they feel threatened on land, they are likely to run for cover in the water nearby.
Hippos are very loud animals. They use a series of noises to communicate with each other in their groups. On land, they can be heard up to a mile away. Hippos are also known to make noises underwater.
Below are some fascinating facts about this large mammal.
Fun Facts About Hippos
There are only two species of hippos
The most widely-known species of hippos is Hippopotamus amphibious, which ranges between 6 and 16 feet long. The other species of hippopotamus is Choeropsis liberiensis, which is smaller (about 5 feet long).
Hippos can’t swim
Hippopotamuses can hold their breath for about 5 minutes, which allows them to take walks along riverbed and lakebed floors. Accordingly, they are also referred to as the “river horse.” The motion of surfacing and breathing through their nostrils is automatic—even when sleeping, they subconsciously rise to the top of the water to breathe.
Hippopotamuses are a threatened animal
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, hippopotamuses are classified as “threatened” owing to human activity affecting their environment.
I understand they can run on land at 19 mph. Not bad for a 400 pound beast. Their oversized molars can bite a canoe in half.